Improvement of the G.2, the Caudron G. 3 is a biplane designed by the French Caudron brothers just before World War one. The first G.3 flew in May 1913.
Before World War one, the G.3 was already an export success with Danish and Chinese governments ordering the aircraft.
It was produced in France , UK and Italy at more than 2849 examples to be used for observation, artillery spotting and training. From 1916, the French removed the G.3 from the frontline but continued to use it as a trainer, even after the war.
Today there are still a dozen G.3 displayed in Museum around the world and a G.3 replica is operated by the Jean Salis Collection at La Ferté Allais in France.
The G3 in Belgium
In 1918, Belgium bought 36 G .3 motorized with Le Rhone 80 HP engine. Those planes were first used at the Juvisy school. The aircraft were later used by the Asch and then the Wevelgem school. The last Belgian G.3 was removed from military service in 1928.
During their career within the Belgian Military Aviation, the G.3. were re-engined with Anzani 100 HP engines.
One of the ex-Belgian military G.3 flew under civil registration a few years before being sold in UK . This machine is now preserved in the RAF Museum , Hendon.
The Société Génerale d'Aviation (SEGA) managed by Fernand Jacquet operated a few civil G.3's from Gosselies.
The Caudron G.3 C/N 2351
It arrived in Brussels the 25 th November 1975, exchanged with the « Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace, Paris » for a LVG C –VI fuselage. Its origin was obscure as it wore a wrong C/N: C/N 2351 being from a Caudron G. 6. No constructor plate was found in the aircraft.
According to the Veritas register, the aircraft has been built in 1923 and used by the Caudron school between 1923 and 1932. The aircraft was then sold to the “Aéro-club de l'Oise”, Compiègne, then sold in Normandy .
The “Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace” recovered it in the fifties after it. was discovered in a barn.
Jean Baptiste Salis restored the Caudron to flying condition, installing new tires, a more reliable Walter engine and a radio set.
Registered F-AFCD, the G.3 was displayed at various air shows in Europe including the “Meeting des Nations” at Bierset in 1958. The first crew was composed by Constantin Feldzer, pilot and former Normandie Niemen member, and Jean Duchamp, mechanic.
The aircraft was also operated by test pilot Jean Franchi who later took part in the test flights of the Concorde.
Flight operations of the G. 3 stopped around 1964. As the “Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace” already displayed a G.3, it was stored before being exchanged.
Jean-Luc Cleassens et André Hauet )
An Anzani Ion engine being available, it was decided in 1999 to substitute the Walter engine with it. The objective was to get closer to the configuration of a Belgian Military Aviation G.3
Using all available information, an engine bearer and a propeller hub were manufactured. The Anzani was installed in 2001. The engine area has been refurbished by the same occasion.